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Massaro, Francesco / Giovanni Cristino / Walter Forestiere: Undergrowth (Creative Sources)

The Italian trio of saxophonist/clarinetist Francesco Masaro, pianist and prepared pianist Giovanni Cristino, and drummer/percussionist Walter Forestiere, take us on a journey at the lower levels of a forest's undergrowth, adding objects, preparations and extended techniques in a blend of free jazz and nonidiomatic forms to reveal mystery and brightness in the brambles.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063405675

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs567
Squidco Product Code: 26714

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at MAST studio, in Bari, Italy, on August 31th, 2017, by Massimo Stano.


Francesco Massaro-alto saxophone, bass clarinet, Turkish clarinet, harmonica

Giovanni Cristino-piano, prepared piano, objects

Walter Forestiere-drums, percussion, variable sonic objects

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Artist Biographies:

"Musician, philosopher and independent 'Pataphysics teacher, a fan of the trappist movement, he survives since long plugged to a metal pipe with holes and keys. Prone to the blues, he collects and catalogs weightlessness and jasmine scent."

-Francesco Massaro Website (

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Walter Forestiere is an Italian drummer, composer, & improviser. He is known for the groups Angelo Mastronardi Trio, the trio Massaro, Francesco / Giovanni Cristino / Walter Forestiere, his duo with with guitarist Vito Pesce, and his duo Death Roars with Jack D'Amico on keyboards.

-Walter Forestiere Website (

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track listing:

1. Invertebrates 7:22

2. Microfauna 6:12

3. Inner Latitudes 6:31

4. Awakening In The Aluminium 5:43

5. Variable Depths 7:22

6. Undergrowth 11:18
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The cover is the Sesamo Apriti [Sesame Street] of a (sub) world where creatures and forms of life that are barely perceptible sometimes breathe, move, struggle for a ray of light necessary to survive. The label promises well: Creative Sources of Lisbon, which has already given us in the recent and recent ACRE (trio bomb of improvisable freerock improvisation, practically an answer to the masters Ossatura) and Maniera Nera by Francesco Massaro , only one for baritone sax and remarkable electronics. And here we find Massaro (alto sax, bass clarinet, turkish clarinet and harmonica) with two companions of fortune: Giovanni Cristino on the piano - also prepared - and the objects, Walter Forestiere on drums, percussions and variable sound objects.

Together they immerse themselves in the ocean of sound, to plumb abysses, to investigate devils and details. Geological times, a percussion of percussions as climbers that rise to a gray and pensive sky: who knows if the sun will come. Meanwhile, you live in the age of a minute, you can palpitate as you can, subtly, setting a theatrical and naturalistic staging at the same time. "Invertebrates", and it really seems to see them: arthropods, flat worms, molluscs. 97% of living species make their voices heard, in the undergrowth, which grows from below, where the eye does not always see and the ear hears. And then "Microfauna", austere reductionism, a vague and welcome sense of expectation, almost of threat, a mood between the rigorous and the bristly that makes these suspended improvisations in perfect balance between Zen meditation and preverbal alphabets.

It is the sound that opens up and grows, inadvertently as a flower can make, plumbed into the depth of every detail: the same dizzying horizontality of certain long sequences of the New Consonance Improvisation Group, a Brownian motion like colonies of ants on the corpse of the good manners in music, stridori, nitori, satori in the morning mist, no space to the easy calligraphy, to the svenevolezze, to the free cantability. The three musicians-entomologists (divers, shamans, speleologists ...) involved all have structured studies behind them, we can sense the skill with which they are managed stamps, spaces, dynamics.

"Inner Latitudes" opens on a curtain that smacks of improvised European old style (the discs of Emanem, the severe explorations of Evan Parker), between puffs, rebukes and skirmishes, while maintaining the mystery of a personal voice, unspeakable and malmostosa, lyric yet rough, rough. Then the waves ripple, the roar of certain free disappears on the horizon to leave room for shadows and ghosts that gather with rituals from a shamanic ceremony around invisible nuclei: no song has a central focus that animates it, are explorations that we listen the moment in which the musicians have performed them, it is the miracle of the capital inspiration to guide them, between dangerous and magnificent apneas ("Inner Latitudes", which after long minutes of stalking grabs the prey and the azzanna), a faded photograph of Paul Bley in a basement from which comes the dusty sound of a vinyl by Morton Feldman ("Awakening In The Aluminum") and psychological distances drawn on atlases that collect maps of lands that are not there ("Variable Depths", informed by a rituality archaic with shadows of gamelan in the final, able to attract inexorably, moths towards a light that will then betray us).

A job that would have pleased Steve Lacy , anti-rhetoric and ghostly, hieratic, full of miniscule and universal secrets, skilled in undertaking roads already beaten over and over again, yet capable of renewing once again a mystery that is not successful to say. The homonymous track, sixth and last, again stages a vigil, an expectation: the mushrooms of the (beautiful) cover (by Luisa Rivera) must obviously be entheogens, and they are beginning to take effect. Undergrowth: how to get back to the earth where we come in six steps. The sound of a beginning and at the same time of an end: the same biological evolution of certain classic twentieth century (the wide movements of the clarinet, the beautiful and broken mirrors (beautiful because broken) in which the piano is reflected, the battery always narrative, as if they were percussion orchestra, unexpected and crooked minimalist anxieties (the piano carillon towards the end), air, long fields, perfect blind alleys, trap doors, gatherings of molecules, unpredictable movements like spider, etc. A disc that allows us to to approach the ear to hidden voices, to be followed with a predisposition to vertigo, after having thrown away the compasses and having stocked up with attention."-Nazim Municipal, The New Noise (translated by Google)

Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Instruments with Preparations
Objects and Home-made Instruments
Trio Recordings
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
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